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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vintage Trescothick at his best


Yesterday on the finals day,  I was lucky to catch one of my all time favourite cricketers on telly, someone,  who can smash the bowling to smithereens with his power hitting and at the same time, can take the mickey out of the bowlers by playing a deft shot. Yes, I am thinking about former England's and Somerset's trailblazer Marcus Trescothick.

I am not a fan of power hitters, but unlike many other power hitters, Tres makes power hitting watchable as he usually plays cricketing shots and his game is also a mixture of power hitting and shots that requires deft touches. Yesterday, he took a Notts attack that consisted of bowlers like Nannes, Broad, Swann, Patel and co. to the cleaners. Tres looked in supreme touch as he  nonchalantly lofted, flicked and pulled Barbie out of the attack, put the tearaway Nannes to the sword by playing upper cuts, treated Sidebum like a club bowler, or the best of them all, slog sweeping Swann and making him look rather ordinary. Actually, I think the young Kieswetter can learn from Tres as when Tres makes room, he just back away one step unlike Kies, who makes too much room and in the end, isn't able to reach the ball.

The greatest strength of Tres as a t/20 player is, he stands still in the crease which allows him to play lofted shots, or makes a little bit of room to play savage cuts through square of the wicket on the off side. He can also irritate the best of quick bowlers by playing late cuts and leg glances.  Tres is no doubt a very good player of spin as well, as he uses the crease beautifully to hit the spinners out of their length. In fact, his duel with Swann was fascinating to watch. Swann has already showed that he loves bowling to left-handers, but Tres used his reach to good effect and played some breathtaking slog sweeps. Of course, Swann is a quality bowler  as he exacted revenge by getting Tres stumped.

A lot has been made about Tres's lack of footwork but I like what Gower said about Tres,

"His technique bears some similarity to mine in terms of economy of movement. It relies on balance. People like to dream that batsmen move a long way forward and long way back but that is not reality.He does not need to move a long way but needs to move enough. Against quicker bowling you cannot move too early or you get in the wrong position. When he is playing well, he gets his weight going in the right direction without having to move his feet very far; he is very good at transferring weight. When he is not playing well, his feet get stuck"

Yesterday's knock bought me back all those great memories of him making the formidable Saffer attack at Wanderers look toothless, his savage attack on Australian bowlers at Edgbaston, the controlled aggression he displayed at Multan against Pakistan, his knock with England in trouble at Oval against South Africa and many more. I am sure if Strauss was watching yesterday's match, he would be wishing that one-day he can again open with Tres lol!

10 comments:

Shridhar Jaju said...

If there is one deficiency in the current English Test team, it is the fact that both their openers are of the same traditional collection. Trescothick would have corrected that problem had he been playing today. He formed a very good pair at the top with Strauss in England's 2005 Ashes win. And this is the trend we have been seeing in Tests, which looks like the way ahead... one dasher at the top with another who can hold forth (Sehwag - Gambhir, Watson - Katich).

greyblazer said...

SJ,

You're right England lack aggression at the top. In 05 Tres played a key role in England's success but never seems to get the recognition for it.

Shridhar Jaju said...

GB, the '05 English team was like that! Everyone performed silently while all the credit was being lapped up by Freddie Flintoff.

So one can understand why Trescothick did not get much credit then. But there is no doubt that he would have been a big asset for the current team as well!

Suhas said...

Totally agree that Tres was one of the (unsung) heroes of 2005. The one day side also suffered big time in his absence, although the arrival of Craig Kieswetter might have finally solved that problem.

Fine player though, uncomplicated and great to watch.

greyblazer said...

Yeah though it can be said that even Vaughan got undue credit for his captaincy.

He would surely have been a asset to the current side which can be seen by the fact that England's management have tried many times to coax him back into the side.

greyblazer said...

Kieswetter has the talent but at present he is mainly looking to create room and smash everything through the off side. So he needs to improve his game.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Was listening to TMS last week during 2nd test with Pakistan and someone commented on it, that if Tres hadn't retired from test cricket, that Cook would probably never have played a test.

Think England have missed him in a big way, it's not just his runs, but the tempo that can be set at the top of an innings.

Sometimes when England need to get off to a flyer they get bogged down by Cook scratching away. Whereas Tres was similar to the way Hayden and Langer (in the latter of his test career) used to get straight after the bowlers and put his team on the front foot.

cricketwithpoop said...

There were days in England ODI cricket, where all you have to do is to take Tresco's wicket and thats it. Done, you won more than half a battle. His stance is trademark.

greyblazer said...

Dean,

Welcome to the blog. One of the best examples of him putting the opposition on the back foot can be his knock at Wanderers in 05. The match was in the balance but Tres took apart the formidable Saffer attack. He swatted Saffer bowlers like flies.

The selectors have invested a lot in Cook but other than smashing weak attacks and a few decent performances against decent attacks he hasn't done as well as some expected him to and the tour of Australia would be a big test for him.

greyblazer said...

Yeah I do remember those days when especially in one-day cricket England used to depend too much on him.Get Tres and maybe Knight out and that would be the end of the match.